Originally posted: http://madisonsfarmadventures.blogspot.com/2013/10/2014-national-beef-ambassador-program.html
One sunny day at a cattle auction in Georgia a woman approached a girl in a shiny buckle…the woman, Mrs. Callaway, asked the girl about her buckle. I don’t know how but Mrs. Callaway felt or heard the girls passion through her words describing her life on the farm. What Mrs. Callaway had up her sleeve next changed that girl’s life, forever. OK maybe a tad much exaggeration. That girl was me and I was at that sale looking for replacement cows with my Pop. Mrs. Callaway thought I was worthy to know about this program called the National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) and she also told me that Tennessee didn’t have a program. Duhh Duhh Duhh. I went home without any new cows but with information that could change the course of my life.
A side story, before I had heard about NBAP I wanted to work in the CIA. Now I wanted to be a Bovine geneticist/nutritionist/ some reproduction and an embryologist. That’s a lot right!! Back to the story…..
Well, I pursued this program but not before I forgot our conversation many times. I actually forgot and then finally remembered our conversation about a month before the contest! Not having an official contest in my state I had to find someone in the beef community to write me a letter of recommendation. I choose Mrs. Houston a very influential cattlewoman in my area whom I look up to greatly. She got the letter written, we sent off the registration, and BAM I was on my way to the Wooster, Ohio 2012 NBAP contest. Look at the NBAP page. They do their contest with the next years date because that’s how the team will serve. The Beef Ambassador contest has two divisions: senior and junior. The junior division ages from 12-16, I was in that division. The seniors age from 17-21. There were two parts of the contest I had to participate in: consumer demonstration and media interview. I had the time of my life! That year we toured Certified Angus and Weaver Leather!! I couldn’t believe that so many prominent members of the beef community were in attendance and it was an excellent trip. A big bonus for me were passionate friends I made for life.
Year 2012…September rolls around and my mom and I are talking about going again. This year its in Sacramento, California. That’s a long drive from Tennessee. We decided to make it a family trip. We visited every important site on I-40 from Tennessee to California. Then we drove up the coast of California on the road that runs along the ocean to Sacremento for the contest. We had five people crammed in a little rental KIA. We stopped along the way and saw all our family across the US. When we finally arrived to Sacramento we were exhausted. I couldn’t think about actually functioning let alone telling people about my farm. Good thing it comes natural to me. That year was probably the best. I knew the ropes and the people and what to look out for.
Year 2013…This years contest. Tennessee finally got a contest! That made me super happy. Long story short, I lost! Now, I am glad I did though. It pushed me to be the best I could at this years contest in Springdale, Arkansas. The home of one of my favorite cattlewomen! Geneice McCall, she is from a small town called Eureka Spring, Arkansas. Anyways, the contest went on without a glitch. I NOW thought this contest was the best! I wonder if I can call them ALL the Best! Why, yes, Yes I can! This is the third year I have gone and I tried with all my heart, soul, and mind to do the best I could do and make my mom and dad proud. Before the awards ceremony I told my mom I didn’t care if I placed because I knew I did the best I had done in a long time, I had fun with it all. I made so many networking connections and I was proud of myself for what I had accomplished that weekend.
The awards ceremony…hmmm….I really can’t remember anything from it except I won consumer demonstration high individual! I then went on to receive second place. I was overjoyed. I was crying and shaking. I thought all the juniors did fabulous. I didn’t think I could ever place but I did. You can watch some of the videoed contest here.